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Donn

In Irish mythology, Donn is an ancestor of the Gaels and is believed to have been a god of the dead. Donn is said to dwell in Tech Duinn, he may have been an aspect of the Dagda. Folklore about Donn survived into the modern era in parts of Ireland, in which he is said to be a phantom horseman riding a white horse. A 9th-century poem says that Donn's dying wish was that all his descendants would gather at Tech Duinn after death: "To me, to my house, you shall all come after your deaths"; the 10th-century tale Airne Fíngein says. In their translation of Acallam na Senórach, Ann Dooley and Harry Roe commented that "to go to the House of Donn in Irish tradition means to die"; this suggests that the pagan Gaels saw Donn as their ancestor and believed they would go to his abode when they died. Tech Duinn may have been thought of as a place where the souls of the dead gathered before travelling to their final destination in the otherworld, or before being reincarnated. According to Julius Caesar, the Gauls claimed descent from a god whom he likened to Dīs Pater, the Roman god of the underworld.

The Christian writers who recorded the Lebor Gabála Érenn made Donn into Éber Donn one of the mythical Milesian ancestors of the Gaels. The Milesians take it from the Tuatha Dé Danann. During their invasion, Donn slights Ériu, one of the eponymous goddesses of Ireland, he drowns in a shipwreck off the southwest coast. Donn is buried on a rocky island which becomes known as Tech Duinn. In the literature, Tech Duinn is said to lie beyond the western edge of Ireland. Tech Duinn is identified with Bull Rock, an islet off the western tip of the Beara Peninsula. Bull Rock resembles a dolmen or portal tomb as it has a natural tunnel through it, allowing the sea to pass under it as if through a portal. In Ireland there was a belief that the souls of the dead departed westwards over the sea with the setting sun; the Metrical Dindshenchas entry for “Tech Duinn” recounts the tale:Through the incantations of the druids a storm came upon them, the ship wherein Donn was foundered. ‘Let his body be carried to yonder high rock’, says Amairgen: ‘his folk shall come to this spot.’ So hence it is called Tech Duinn: and for this cause, according to the heathen, the souls of sinners visit Tech Duinn before they go to hell, give their blessing, ere they go, to the soul of Donn.

But as for the righteous soul of a penitent, it beholds the place from afar, is not borne astray. Such, at least, is the belief of the heathen. – Translation by E. Gwynn In the tale Togail Bruidne Dá Derga, king Conaire Mór meets his death in Bruiden Dá Derga. On his way to the hostel, Conaire meets three red men riding red horses from the otherworld, they foretell his doom and tell him "we ride the horses of Donn... although we are alive, we are dead". Donn is called "king of the dead" in the tale, it has been suggested that Dá Derga's Hostel is another name for Donn and his abode. It may be a name for the death god in the context of violent death or sacrifice, hence the name "red god". In the tale Tochmarc Treblainne, the otherworld woman Treblann elopes with the mortal man Fráech, who sends her to safety in Tech Duinn while he embarks on a quest. In this tale, Donn is said to be the foster-son of the Dagda. Dáithí Ó hÓgáin notes similarities between the two and suggests that Donn was an epithet of the Dagda.

Donn is the father of Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, whom he gives to the god of youth, Aengus mac Óg, to raise. Folklore about Donn survived into the early modern era. In County Limerick, a Donn Fírinne was said to dwell in the sacred hill of Cnoc Fírinne, folklore told of people being brought into the hill to be with Donn when they died, he was said to appear as a phantom horseman riding a white horse. He was associated with the weather: thunder and lightning meant that Donn Fírinne was riding his horse through the sky, if clouds were over the hill it meant that he was gathering them together to make rain; this imagery may have been influenced by the lore of Odin and his horse Sleipnir from the Norse settlers in Limerick. Donn Fírinne was said to appear and warn anyone who interfered with his hill. On the west coast of County Clare there was a Donn na Duimhche or Donn Dumhach, who "was often encountered as a night-horseman". In folklore, the name'Donn' came to mean an'otherworld lord' in general. In modern Irish, donn is the word for the colour brown.

Hy-Brasil - legendary island to the west of Ireland Media related to Donn at Wikimedia Commons

Sword

A sword is a bladed melee weapon intended for slashing or thrusting, longer than a knife or dagger, consisting of a long blade attached to a hilt. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographic region under consideration; the blade can be curved. Thrusting swords have a pointed tip on the blade, tend to be straighter. Many swords are designed for both slashing; the sword developed in the Bronze Age, evolving from the dagger. The Iron Age sword remained short and without a crossguard; the spatha, as it developed in the Late Roman army, became the predecessor of the European sword of the Middle Ages, at first adopted as the Migration Period sword, only in the High Middle Ages, developed into the classical arming sword with crossguard. The word sword continues the Old English, sweord; the use of a sword is known as swordsmanship or, in a modern context, as fencing. In the Early Modern period, western sword design diverged into two forms, the thrusting swords and the sabers.

Thrusting swords such as the rapier and the smallsword were designed to impale their targets and inflict deep stab wounds. Their long and straight yet light and well balanced design made them maneuverable and deadly in a duel but ineffective when used in a slashing or chopping motion. A well aimed lunge and thrust could end a fight in seconds with just the sword's point, leading to the development of a fighting style which resembles modern fencing; the saber and similar blades such as the cutlass were built more and were more used in warfare. Built for slashing and chopping at multiple enemies from horseback, the saber's long curved blade and forward weight balance gave it a deadly character all its own on the battlefield. Most sabers had sharp points and double-edged blades, making them capable of piercing soldier after soldier in a cavalry charge. Sabers continued to see battlefield use until the early 20th century; the US Navy kept tens of thousands of sturdy cutlasses in their armory well into World War II and many were issued to marines in the Pacific as jungle machetes.

Non-European weapons called "sword" include single-edged weapons such as the Middle Eastern scimitar, the Chinese dao and the related Japanese katana. The Chinese jìan is an example of a non-European double-edged sword, like the European models derived from the double-edged Iron Age sword; the first weapons that can be described as "swords" date to around 3300 BC. They have been found in Arslantepe, are made from arsenical bronze, are about 60 cm long; some of them are inlaid with silver. The sword developed from the dagger. A knife is unlike a dagger in that a knife has only one cutting surface, while a dagger has two cutting surfaces. Construction of longer blades became possible during the 3rd millennium BC in the Middle East, first in arsenic copper in tin-bronze. Blades longer than 60 cm were rare and not practical until the late Bronze Age because the Young's modulus of bronze is low, longer blades would bend easily; the development of the sword out of the dagger was gradual. These are the "type A" swords of the Aegean Bronze Age.

One of the most important, longest-lasting, types swords of the European Bronze Age was the Naue II type known as Griffzungenschwert. This type first appears in c. the 13th century BC in Northern Italy, survives well into the Iron Age, with a life-span of about seven centuries. During its lifetime, metallurgy changed from bronze to iron, but not its basic design. Naue II swords were exported from Europe to the Aegean, as far afield as Ugarit, beginning about 1200 BC, i.e. just a few decades before the final collapse of the palace cultures in the Bronze Age collapse. Naue II swords could be as long as 85 cm. Robert Drews linked the Naue Type II Swords, which spread from Southern Europe into the Mediterranean, with the Bronze Age collapse. Naue II swords, along with Nordic full-hilted swords, were made with functionality and aesthetics in mind; the hilts of these swords were beautifully crafted and contained false rivets in order to make the sword more visually appealing. Swords coming from northern Denmark and northern Germany contained three or more fake rivets in the hilt.

Sword production in China is attested from the Bronze Age Shang Dynasty. The technology for bronze swords reached its high point during the Warring States period and Qin Dynasty. Amongst the Warring States period swords, some unique technologies were used, such as casting high tin edges over softer, lower tin cores, or the application of diamond shaped patterns on the blade. Unique for Chinese bronzes is the consistent use of high tin bronze, hard and breaks if stressed too far, whereas other cultures preferred lower tin bronze, which bends if stressed too far. Although iron swords were made alongside bronze, it was not until the early Han period that iron replaced bronze. In the Indian subcontinent, earliest available Bronze age swords of copper were discovered in the Indus Valley Civilization sites in the northwestern regions of South Asia. Swords have been recovered in

Museum of Fournier de Naipes

The Fournier Museum of Playing Cards is a playing card museum located in Vitoria, Spain. It originated as a private collection in 1916 by Félix Alfaro Fournier, the grandson of the founder of Naipes Heraclio Fournier, it was bought by the government of Álava and was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1984. In 1994, it moved to its current location in the Bendaña palace which it shares with the Álava Museum of Archaeology; the Fournier Museum of Playing Cards is located at the Bendaña Palace, whose courtyard is the beginning of this tour. This Renaissance building was built in the first half of the 16th century. In 1525, Juan López de Arrieta ordered its construction on a piece of land belonging to his family, on the place that once was the defensive medieval tower of the old House of Maestu. Although it was built in the middle of the Renaissance, the building shows some elements of the late Gothic period, such as the pointed-arch gate of the main façade at Cuchilleria Street or the starred octagonal vault on the inner stairs.

The organisation and the Renaissance decorative shapes are found in this courtyard, a typical example of residential palaces of that time, with three floors of open arched corridors. The collection of the Fournier Museum of Playing Cards was started by Félix Alfaro Fournier in 1916, when he succeeded his grandfather Heraclio Fournier in the factory after his death. In 1984, the Alava Provincial Council purchased the collection, that at that time included 3,400 decks of cards, which they exhibited at the Fine Arts Museum of Alava, located at the Augustin Palace. From that moment, the funds of the collection continued increasing and so did the necessity for a bigger space. So, in 1994, the collection was moved to the Bendaña Palace; the originality of this museum lies with its interesting collection and on the few number of museums devoted to playing cards in the world. The museum’s permanent exhibition is a small showing selected from among more than 20,000 decks of cards that are part of the funds, coming from different countries, from the five continents.

The Fournier Museum of Playing Cards offers the visitor not only a historic journey, but a thematic journey showing the development of playing cards, from the 15th century to the present. Besides decks of cards, the centre exhibits different machines and other objects used for manufacturing playing cards throughout history. Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 – 14:00 / 16:00 – 18:30 Sundays and public holidays: 11:00 – 14:00 Monday closed Tuesday, after Holiday Monday, closed Google virtual visit Fournier Museum of Playing Cards Watch video Naipes Heraclio Fournier S. A